The Norway Rat

A Norway rat will not only invade your house but will eat away household items and contaminate surroundings. The following details will help you identify this species of rats.



Norway Rat

Norway Rat. By H. Zell – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, 

Norway rats are large, brown or grey-colored rats which have huge mass and weigh around 500 grams. These rats are around 16 inches long. The average tail size of a Norway rat is around 8 inches. They have shaggy fur and their ears and tail are also covered with scales.


Norway rats live in the lower elevations of a building and exist near people. Therefore, they are generally found in and around residences. Norway rats, like roof rats, can climb but prefer to live in the lower portions of the buildings. The Norway rat makes their nests by burrowing structures and buildings and prefers places with near water sources.

They use these underground burrows to make their way to garbage bins, silos, livestock space and even under concrete slabs. They eat away almost anything that’s available because of their omnivorous nature.

Though they aren’t an entirely social species, Norway rats live in communities and have dominant and subordinate rat members.


The most common sign to detect the presence of Norway rats is locating their droppings. They produce round, large, 7-8 inches long droppings, which can easily be located on their pathways. Their droppings are scattered around the food sources they regularly munch.

Rub marks or grease stains across walls and edges indicate the presence of Norway rats. This is because they rub the surface with their fur while traveling back and forth. Grease and dirt on their fur leave marks on the surface.

Moreover, if you find gnaw marks on food items or burrows around the house or building, these point towards a potential rodent problem.


Necessities like food, water and shelter are enough to attract Norway rats to your house. Livestock feeds, fallen fruits or seeds, bird feeders or uncovered pet food lure Norway rats in your home.

Another thing that they look for is water availability. If there is water freely available in or around your house’s surroundings, such as fountains, swimming pools, pet water bowls, rainfall water or irrigation drippings, it’s enough for Norway rats to not only quench their thirst but to build a nest in the nearby space.

If they find a suitable habitat in your house, they can go build nests and live there. They have the ability to dig wood piles or rock piles to build their nests. They can even swim through toilets to your home or use AC wiring to invade your place.


It’s difficult to get rid of Norway rats as they can often avoid traps. The following are measures to help you get rid of these problematic creatures and prevent their entry in future.


Prevent Norway rats from entering your house again by sealing all their potential entry points. Seal all holes which are bigger than 1.3 cm with heavy material like metal sheet, concrete mortar, etc.


The most effective remedy against any such unwanted guests is proper sanitation. Clean your premises, dispose of all the trash and debris in the house, get rid of abundant water around your home, mop away any scattered food pieces in the food-storage place and store food items in airtight containers.


After restricting Norway rats’ activity in your house, use toxic rodenticides. They are very effective in controlling rats, but if you aren’t sure about the application, then it’s better to get help from professional exterminators.

Norway Rat Facts

  • They have poor eyesight and are usually color-blind.
  • They rely on other senses like hearing, smell and taste to find food.
  • Their exceptional sense of taste helps them identify any contamination or toxicity in the food.
  • They can climb, jump, swim and even gnaw the entry points to make their entry in the building.